The USAF angle:
After reading the material on this matter, which I had described in parts one and two of this post, it seemed fairly definite that, in fact, there was no radar confirmation of the Rendlesham Forest UAP according to official UK Defence sources. However I did not that all commentators so far had been referring only to English radar operators. As there were USAF personnel involved in the incident, I broadened my Internet searching to include any possible USAF observations. Indeed I found some on the following website (click here.)
Hastings advises that:
"I have also interviewed the two USAF air traffic controllers who were on duty during the period of the UFO activity." The two are named as James H Carey and Ivan "Ike" R Barker, and "belatedly admitted to tracking an unidentified target at the Bentwaters Air Traffic Control tower one night - sometime between December 26 1980 and January 1 1981."
Jim Carey told me "At the time I was a tech sergeant, an air traffic controller with the 2164th communication squadron. The other controller was named Ike Barker. A Major named ___ was also there. I think the incident happened between 10 and 12 o'clock if I remember right. Ike and I usually worked 6pm to midnight but it was during the holidays, when we might have to work eight or nine hours. But as I recall, it happened before midnight."
Carey continued " What I remember seeing was a very fast object on the radar we had in the tower. The scope was variable - it had a zoom as far as its [displayed] range, between five and 60 miles radius, but I think it was set at a 60 miles when the object appeared. It came in from the east, went straight west across the scope and disappeared off the left side. It took maybe four sweeps - each sweep was two to three seconds - to cross it entirely. So it covered 120 miles in [approximately eight to twelve] seconds. In the 15 years I was an air traffic controller I'd never seen anything travel across the scope that fast. A few seconds later, it came back on the scope retracing its course, west to east, at the same speed. Then - I think it was maybe half or three quarters of the way across - it did an immediate right angle turn and headed south..."
Barker told Hastings, "I was a master sergeant with the 2164th communications squadron. There were three of us there that night. I was the tower supervisor. Jim Carey was working for me, and the supervisor of flying was Major ___. We had a radar scope in the tower we called the "Bright 2"...a 60 miles radius around the Bentwaters complex...I looked down at the scope and saw a bright streak move across it...that's how fast it was moving. It came in fast from the north east directly over the base, stopped for a few seconds, immediately reversed course and went back out the way it came in ..."
So, here we have the answer to my questions as "yes" there was radar contact, but not by the RAF, but by the USAF. Note though that the date was somewhere between 26 December 1980 and 1 January 1981, no specific date was given.
I did find one UK researcher, Nick Pope who quoted the following on his website (click here):
"Yet, as I was to discover years later, the UFO had been tracked, after all. I
spoke to a former RAF radar operator called Nigel Kerr. He had been stationed at
RAF Watton at Christmas 1980 and had received a call from somebody at RAF
Bentwaters. They wanted to know if there was anything unusual on his radar
screen. He looked and for three or four sweeps, something did show up, directly
over the base. But it faded away and no official report was ever made. It was
only years later that Kerr even heard of the Rendlesham Forest incident and
realised he might have a missing piece of the puzzle."
So, here the answer to my questions is "yes." However, you will note that Pope's source mentions "Christmas 1980" and not any specific date.
Official UK military sources clearly say that no radar confirmation of Halt's observations were made.
Two USAF ATC state, many years after the event, that they saw something on radar between 26 Dec 1980 and 1 Jan 1981. Pope's source says "Christmas 1980." Neither of these can specifically say that what they saw related to Halt's observations.
Due to the passage of time, it would seem that we are never going to be able to definitely say whether or not there was radar confirmation of the Rendlesham Forest UAP. I am however, open to correction by blog readers. Over to you.